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If the latest YouGov IndyRef poll is right then the outcome could be very close indeed

September 1st, 2014

The above Tweets are all I’ve got at the moment. No doubt the numbers will be fleshed out in the next few hours.

What’s striking is that YouGov has been one of the pollsters which over the months has shown YES in one of the worst positions. This poll suggests that there’s been a marked turnaround.

Two GE2015 polls showing different pictures

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble





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On the betting market IndyRef NO and UKIP in Clacton drop: EdM as next PM and LAB most seats rise

September 1st, 2014

Populus online reverts to “Good for LAB on Mondays, Bad on Fridays”



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Tory hopes of benefitting from a first time incumbency bonus depend on first time incumbents standing again

September 1st, 2014

The more that follow Kelly route the bigger the task at GE2015

Dudley South was won by the Tories at GE2010 with a majority of 10.1% and is LAB target number 75. On current national polling it is one of a critical batch of seats that Labour needs to gain in order to secure a working majority. Currently Ladbrokes make the Tories 4/5 favourite to retain it.

It was won by the Tories in 2010 by Chris Kelly who announced last night that he will not be standing again at GE2015 making him the eighth from the CON 2010 intake to announce such a move.

The chances are that his decision will impede the Tory effort to retain it. For one of the electoral dynamics that we have seen is that first time incumbents do better than the national average for their parties when they seek to retain their seats for the first time. See my post from last year.

Labour has been seeking to undermine this factor by in quite a number of cases re-selecting former MPs to fight the LAB-CON marginals that were lost in 2010. My own seat of Bedford and Nick Palmer in Broxtowe are good examples. It will be interesting to see if this strategy has an impact.

    The Tories have been investing a lot of hope in the first time incumbency dynamic and they are probably right to expect a 1-2% boost. But this requires the MP who won for the first time in 2010 to stand again.

The more that first term Tory MPs follow the Kelly route the bigger the challenge for their party in hanging on to power.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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UKIP Clacton price the big mover in today’s political betting market report

August 31st, 2014

LAB most seats/EdM next PM/ IndyRef NO all up as well

Inevitably given the Survation Clacton poll the big mover has been the UKIP by-election price – now rated as an 88% chance.

It is hard to see what could happen to change this and as we get closer the the date you would expect this to get tighter.

EdM for next PM and LAB most seas all up a bit and there’s been a small up-tick for an IndyRef NO.

Given the current political environment I’m planning to feature this as often as there are significant movements.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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The devastating detail from the Survation Clacton by-election poll

August 31st, 2014

The constituency, though, is a one-off

In all the time I have been following and analysing polls there has never been anything as sensational as the Survation Clacton poll for the Mail on Sunday published overnight. The figures are extraordinary and point to an overwhelming victory for Douglas Carswell in his new colours.

The thing we must remember is – as Rob Ford and Matt Goodwin the leading academics who have studied the UKIP surge, will tell you – that the demographics of Clacton make it in theory at least the best of all of the 650 commons seats, for Farage’s party.

In the May 22nd Euro election the Tendring Council area saw a vote split of UKIP 48%: CON 25: LAB 13: LD 2: OTH 12. The Clacton seat covers 21 of the 35 wards in the council area.

Clearly there’s speculation over where this could happen next. The main consolation for the Tories is that in any other seat conditions would not be as favourable though that doesn’t meant it won’t happen.

The dramatic UKIP victory that Survation is pointing to will make waves throughout UK politics and other CON MPs, surely, will be considering their positions. I reckon that Kettering MP, Mr Philip Hollobone, might be a possible and I’ve had a small bet at 12/1 that the seat will go UKIP next May.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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UKIP has “44% lead in Clacton”

August 30th, 2014

There’s what I assume is a Survation poll of Clacton voters in the Mail on Sunday. The only only info is on the front page – above.

This looks sensational.

As soon as more detail is available this will be update.

Update – we now have this from the poll

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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The weekend polls could impact on these betting prices

August 30th, 2014

Saturday/Sunday morning is generally an interesting time for political punters – even more so when we have an absorbine by-election in the pipeline as well as the IndyRef.

I’m hoping that we might even see a Clacton poll though the timescale has been very tight. There’ve also been hints of at least one IndyRef survey and who knows what the next round of GE2015 polling is going to show.

The chart above is going to be a regular.

Mike Smithson

Ranked in top 33 most influential over 50s on Twitter




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David Herdson on what Carswell’s defection could mean for 2015

August 30th, 2014

carswell

A by-election victory could secure a TV debate place for Farage

The defection of one MP or another towards the end of a parliament is nothing particularly unusual.  The decision of one to resign and re-contest his or her seat is.  Were it not for the vote of even greater significance taking place in Scotland next month, the Clacton by-election could have been the seminal political moment of the parliament.  Depending on the two results, it still might be.

A Scottish Yes would have such profound implications it deserves a thread of its own (before the vote), to game the likely effects on the parties, their leaders and the reaction in the country at large, to work out where any betting value may lie.  The effect of a No would be less significant though the last time the SNP failed in a referendum, they parliamentary party took a hammering at the next election.  It’s also perhaps worth noting that Alistair Darling is 11/1 with Paddy Power to be the next Chancellor and 20/1 to be next Labour leader.

If we assume a No for these purposes, then the attention of the media and of Westminster will rapidly move on to the Essex coastal constituency of Clacton.  It’s a measure of how rapidly UK politics is changing that the best odds available on UKIP at the time of writing were 1/4.  Only twice since WWII has a party other than the Tories, Labour or Lib Dems (or their predecessors) won an English by-election: George Galloway was one, earlier this parliament; Dick Taverne the other, who held his seat at the 1973 Lincoln by-election after his parting of the ways with Labour.

Those odds don’t look tempting to me.  UKIP has not made the most sure-footed of starts to their campaign with their previously selected candidate refusing to stand down.  While it’s right that they’re odds-on favourites at the moment, it wouldn’t take much to turn a spat into a shambles if they can’t sort their local aspect quickly.  Indeed, much will turn on local matters: how seriously Labour tries (both for their own sake and the indirect effect their campaign, or non-campaign, has on the Blue and Purple camps), how many of Carswell’s activists follow him across, how many UKIP activists are willing to campaign for their erstwhile opponent – and so on.

    Even so, Clacton has been described by the most favourable seat for UKIP in the country, an assertion that the European election results reinforce. 

That’s a huge advantage in this election but it’s also a huge risk: if they don’t win, it undermines any claim they have to be taken seriously next year, it would halt their current momentum and would put a hefty spring in the stride of their conquerors.  On the other hand, if they do make history and gain their first elected MP, then that removes another obstacle to Farage appearing in the leaders’ debates next year – an aspiration that should be UKIP’s number one campaign objective given UKIP’s still-developing activist base, the impact the debates had in 2010 and Farage’s distinctiveness.  For that reason alone, the odds of debates happening at all should lengthen if UKIP wins.

There is another angle to consider, that of electoral fairness.  A UKIP win, consolidating their position as the fourth major national party, would go still further to undermining the legitimacy of FPTP; a system that only really works well with two dominant parties.  I wrote in March that the Tories’ 2015 manifesto should include a commitment to introducing PR (open lists in constituencies of about five MPs would be best).  The events this week have made that all the more necessary.

David Herdson